Rick, Peter: Are you both Mac guys? I ask because I found XP to be very stable and Win 7 was an effortless upgrade. I know the press has given Windows 8 a hard time, but I found it incredibly intuitive when I tried it on a tablet. I realize I'm playing the devil's advocate here, but perhaps the media has scared off many would-be buyers. Just sayin...
@Patk0317- right, and that's a really good point. You can get by doing basic stuff on your phone or tablet, but when it comes to really intensive applications, the kind of stuff people used to (and still do) use workstations for, I don't think either one of those devices are going to cut it. That said, there are really not that many people using design tools, or doing things like professional video editing where you need all of that performance and memory.
To KB's point, I've actually thought for a long time that eventually your phone will be your PC, and you will have something like a docking station with a monitor and a keyboard for when you are doing things like work processing, etc. It's only a matter of time before a smartphone has the processing power required. Some already do.
Another factor is that with so many choices, people are not updating their laptops at the same rate they did a few years ago - there has been no real advantage. I have a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone. Of the three, I use the phone the most, but when I have to use an application like a design tool, it has to be on the laptop. These tools do not run on tablets or phones in most cases.
Thanks on both counts, KB. My sense talking to peers is that people who used to fear Wintel at the turn of the century today wonder why Apple is charging so much for phones built by people who are paid so little. With technology changing as fast as it does, they may be worried more about Google next, or something else. But I suspect you and I will both be surprised what the dominant worry is a decade from now. And, yes, it's nice to have choices.